Picturing the 1930s, 8-12

The Smithsonian American Art Museum Web site includes paintings, artist memorabilia, historical documents, newsreels, period photographs, music and video in a virtual, 3-D movie theater. The site provides opportunities for students to use primary source documents.
The museum has provided images from its collection of artworks from the 1930s with contextual information that will be used as assets in PrimaryAccess, a Web-based software that allows teachers and students to create their own documentary videos. Beginning March 15, students can select images, write text and record narration in the style of a documentary filmmaker. These online videos can be submitted to the virtual theater on the site. The museum also plans to develop introduction and implementation tutorials that suggest ways to integrate the software and assets into the curriculum.

New content will debut for each of the eight theme rooms in the next several months. “The Country,” “The Depression,” “Industry,” and “Labor” will be available Thursday, Feb. 26, followed by “American People,” “Leisure,” “The City” and “The New Deal.”